“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.” – Henry Luce

Monday, 29 December 2014

Meaning of Culture & it Characteristics,

Culture is  the traditions and customs of the  members of the society because of  which are common  and are passed down from generation to generation through the process of socialisation.  the specific behaviour pattern of human beings in their social relations is called culture. Cultural ideas emerge from shared social life. The culture includes The customs, traditions, attitudes, values, norms, ideas and symbols govern human behaviour pattern..

Meaning of Culture:

Culture is identified with aesthetics or the fine arts such as dance, music or drama. This is also different from the technical meaning of the word culture.
Culture is used in a special sense in anthropology and sociology. It refers to the sum of human beings’ life ways, their behaviour, beliefs, feelings, thought; it connotes everything that is acquired by them as social beings.
Culture has been defined in number of ways.  One of the most comprehensive definitions of the term culture was provided by the British anthropologist Edward Tylor. He defined culture as ” that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”.

Some of the other important definitions of culture are as follows. “Culture is the expression of our nature in our modes of living and our thinking. Intercourse in our literature, in religion, in recreation and enjoyment, says Maclver.
According to E.A. Hoebel,“Culture is the sum total of integrated learned behaviour patterns which are characteristics of the members of a society and which are therefore not the result of biological inheritance.”
According to H.T. Mazumadar,
“culture is the sum total of human achievements, material as well as non-material, capable of transmission, sociologically, i.e., by tradition and communication, vertically as well as horizontally”.
We may define culture as the sum-total of human achievements or the total heritage of man which can be transmitted to men by communication and tradition. 
Culture therefore, is moral, intellectual and spiritual discipline for advancement, in accordance with the norms and values based on accumulated heritage. 
Culture is a collective heritage learned by individuals and passed from one generation to another. 

Characteristics of Culture:

From various definition, we can deduce the following characteristics:

1. Learned Behaviour:

Not all behaviour is learned, but most of it is learned; combing one’s hair, standing in line, telling jokes, criticising the Politicians and going to the movie, all constitute behaviours which had to be learned.
Some behaviour is obvious. People can be seen going to football games, eating with forks, or driving automobiles. Such behaviour is called “overt” behaviour. Other behaviour is less visible. Such activities as planning tomorrow’s work (or) feeling hatred for an enemy, are behaviours too. This sort of behaviour, which is not openly visible to other people, is called Covert behaviour. Both may be, of course, learned.

2. Culture is Abstract:

Culture exists in the minds or habits of the members of society. We cannot see culture as such we can only see human behaviour. This behaviour occurs in regular, patterned fashion and it is called culture.

3. Culture is a Pattern of Learned Behaviour:

The definition of culture indicated that the learned behaviour of people is patterned. Each person’s behaviour often depends upon some particular behaviour of someone else. As a general rule, behaviours are somewhat integrated or organized with related behaviours of other persons.

4. Culture is the Products of Behaviour:

Culture learnings are the products of behaviour. Human behaviour is the result of behaviour. The experience of other people are impressed on one as he grows up, and also many of his traits and abilities have grown out of his own past behaviours.

5. Culture is shared by the Members of Society:

The patterns of learned behaviour and the results of behaviour are possessed not by one or a few person, but usually by a large proportion. Thus, many millions of persons share such behaviour patterns  the use of automobiles, or the English language.Persons may share some part of a culture unequally. Sometimes the people share different aspects of culture. 

6. Culture is Super-organic:

Culture is sometimes called super organic. It implies that “culture” is somehow superior to “nature”. 
7. Culture is Pervasive:
Culture is pervasive it touches every aspect of life. The pervasiveness of culture is manifest in two ways. First, culture provides an unquestioned context within which individual action and response take place. Not only emotional action but relational actions are governed by cultural norms. Second, culture pervades social activities and institutions.

8. Culture is a human Product:

Culture is a creation of society in interaction and depends for its existence upon the continuance of society. Culture does not ‘do’ anything on its own. It does not cause the individual to act in a particular way, nor does it ‘make’ the normal individual into a maladjusted one. Culture, in short, is a human product; it is not independently endowed with life.

9. Culture is transmitted among members of Society:

The cultural ways are learned by persons from persons. Many of them are “handed down” by one’s elders, by parents, teachers, and others [of a somewhat older generation]. 
For example, the styles of dress, political views, and the use of recent labour saving devices. One does not acquire a behaviour pattern spontaneously. 

14. Culture is Variable:

Culture varies from society to society, group to group. Hence, we say culture of India or England. Further culture varies from group to group within the same society. There are subcultures within a culture. Cluster of patterns which are both related to general culture of the society and yet distinguishable from it are called subcultures.

15. Language is the Chief Vehicle of Culture:

Man who possesses language which transmits to him what was learned in the past and enables him to transmit the accumulated wisdom to the next generation. Although culture is transmitted in a variety of ways, language is one of the most important vehicles for perpetuating cultural patterns.To conclude culture is everything which is socially learned and shared by the members of a society. It is culture that, in the wide focus of the world, distinguishes individual from individual, group from group and society.



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